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Us 30, Louisiana 18, America 14, Washington 13, Dave Schiappa 11, United Nations 10, Mr. Reid 10, U.s. 9, Dave 9, David Schiappa 9, Bush 8, United States 7, Michigan 7, New Orleans 6, Cheryl 6, Obama 6, U.n. 5, Scott 5, Collins 5, Georgia 5,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    August 1, 2013
    9:00 - 11:59am EDT  

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with the next round that they're about to face? >> well, i think, i think this really kind of gets down to how far the house is going to go. and i think, i think they have a very difficult decision. if you looked at "the wall street journal"/nbc poll last week, you saw really an explosion of anger toward the congress and ratings of the republican majority in the house in particular. but one part of that poll said do you think that the republicans are being too inflexible, and 56% said, yes. but among republicans a third said that they thought they were too flexible. and so i think you've got a speaker who is dealing with a
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very difficult and diverse majority party who has his base thinking that he's already gone too far and this is easy, you just need to do it and stick by it and a growing sentiment in the public that he has been too strict. i think he would cut a deal if he could, but i don't think he's in a position to do it. and i'm much less optimistic than senator conrad or others that he's going the find a solution that will protect either his party or the country. >> later this week the governors are meeting in milwaukee, and so we'll be flying there tomorrow, and i'll tell you what i'm going to tell them. i say the next fiscal cliff -- and i don't use that lightly -- has four components to it. the four components are the cr, the debt limit, the doc fix and
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the extensions of expiring tax provisions. and they don't all coalesce -- well, none of them necessarily coalesce at the same time now, but they could as the year goes on. in particular, using the bipartisan policy center my guess is that the date, particularly if the economy continues to roll a little bit better now and depending upon how much we get out of fannie and freddie, about mid november. in fact, it could be and a very important date for congress' perspective and that is thanksgiving eve. it could last until then. a cr, and a cr is inevitable. i just can't see. but could they have a cr that goes to thanksgiving eve too? sure. at what level, i don't know. and in one sense it's problematic because be you took the level that the president or the senate has -- and they're almost exactly the same -- then 15 days after congress adjourns,
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they'd have to sequester. if you took the level that the house has, then 15 days after congress adjourns, omb would have to sequester. and if you did a cr like so many other crs have been done in the past, if you took last year's level and just continue it, then 15 days after congress adjourns, omb would have to sequester. now, i believe -- i defer to my friends from the hill -- i don't believe congress technically has to adjourn until december of next year, but that's another technical point. but the point i'm trying to make is that what i see is something around mid november being pressure because of the debt limit, because of the cr, because they're going to have to do the doc fix sooner or later. yeah, they can postpone it until early part of january, i think. because they're going to have to do the tax extensions and particularly i think there are 55 positions but the one most
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important from the states' perspective, those states that don't have income taxes rely on sales taxes, and the deduction for sales taxes expires too. all of those things are sort of coalescing to force some kind of deal. now, if you're looking at what that deal is composed of, i haven't any idea at all. but the pressures are going to be on particularly around mid november to do that kind of deal. >> and there will be, there will be a deal. it will not be -- i mean, i go to minnesota, so i guess i have some of the scandinavian optimism of chairman conrad, but not too much. it'll be another sort of budget control act, i feel. we used to have, think about the deal in '85, there was a big deal in '90, '97, used to have these budget earthquakes every several years, and then we had
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surpluses from '98 to 2001, and we haven't had a big deal since then despite the fact deficits have reasserted themselves. so we're overdue for the big one, but it's not going to happen anytime soon. the bca was a tremor, we'll have another tremor, but this is much more like -- coming from minnesota -- a glare scherr that's going to just keep moving slowly across the ground, constant friction. it's going to continue to be uncomfortable at least for a lot of people. but there'll have to be a deal reached. and there will be a deal reached. it'll be difficult, it'll be complicated, but we're not going to have a grand bargain. i don't think we'll have a grand bar gain at least -- bargain at least during this presidency. >> i agree with that. you know, for years we've operated on the idea that if we get pushed to the limit, there's going to be a deal, right? we used to push the defense bill up to the july 4th recess just to get it done, and then we'd push it up to -- but, man, the
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deals that we're coming up with these days when we get pushed to the limit, you know? such a deal, as they used to say. [laughter] we have sequesters. excellent. [laughter] we have -- i mean, so at some point, yeah, we'll get a deal, and it'll be ugly and messy. but the deals really aren't that great anymore. >> yeah. >> and so when do we get to a point when the deals are actually great? and i think scott's point, i don't know -- first of all, the split this year on the discretionary levels in the house and the senate, if scotty as my staff director said you've got to come up with $40 billion out of defense i'd say maybe you should talk to mr. more saw about that one. i mean, seriously, we'd have to do it, but where you begin that conversation with the senate after you do it is virtually impossible. so i don't know what the
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incentives are for them to come together. there'll be incentives for them to get the deal, but the deal will be -- it'll muddle through, and so to answer your point earlier, it'll be more crs and probably more sequesters in the deal that everybody can say, well, we got a deal because we had to, and that's about it. >> and everybody will hate it. just like the bc. >> i think we'll take some questions from a -- from the audience. i see one hand up here. a mic's coming around. identify yourself. >> sure. my name is ed keane, i'm with a firm called the observatory group. this is for anyone on the panel. it sounds like based on some of the last answers that most of you, if not all of you, expect the lower spending caps that are embodied in the budget control act will continue unless there's some miracle that occurs. so if the effects of the sequester, essentially, remain, what do you think that implies
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for, what do you think that implies for the economic effects of fiscal policy? in other words, will fiscal policy continue to be a headwind for economic growth going forward? >> well, first of all, will the 2014 caps hold. bill pointed out $90 billion difference between, basically, 90 billion. could you find, could you split the difference and find 45 and pay for it show? as scott was saying, one of the ways that was done between january and march was taking a look at longer term things, student loans or something like that -- >> iras. >> right. could you find $45 billion to split the difference? sure. quite possibly. particularly given the long-term nature of it. however, what i'm saying -- i don't know about the others, but what i'm saying is, again, this is going to be 2014 only. i don't see them rectifying the caps for 2015 through 2021
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through this type of mechanism. something to get through the current fiscal year situation. i doubt they'll find something for the entire 90, but i don't know that they'll live with the zero either. there's been a lot of pressure on both sides, both defense and nondefense, for some relief. and could they find that particularly in november or even if they do a short-term cr and a short-term debt limit, of course, they could push it off to christmas eve as opposed to thanksgiving. >> the house bill are not at the cap -- the two caps are security and nonsecurity. they bust the cap on security and take it -- their overall number is at the cap level, but there are two caps, and they do bust one of them. >> the question on fiscal policy i think which, i think a lot of people get this all wrapped up together, we're going from -- according to cbo's estimates, we're going from a deficit of 7%
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of gdp to 4% of gdp. that's a 3% drop, and that is equivalent to taking half a trillion dollars out of the economy at the behest of the government which just makes the struggle to get up to 2.5, 3% growth that much high her. higher. now, the 45 billion that barry's talking about, that's certainly, that's in the wrong direction. that's not what you want to be doing when you are struggling to get over 1% growth. but it's very small. you know, it's not, it's not a big thing. the real question is what does that 45 billion do the -- do if it starts coming out of the justice department program? we're going to have to get by with fewer fbi, fewer wardens. we're going to see a real transformation in terms of the irs ability to collect the revenues that we're expecting them to collect given the number
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of people that are working. so it's not the, you know, it's not the macro impact as much as it's the micro impact on the ability of government to provide selected services. >> which i think has, if i could -- >> yep. >> -- which has an insidious macro effect outside the beltway. so i think 45 billion is chump change. but what's really the insidious nature of this uncertainty is occurring in contracting offices in the pentagon, right? the defense industry has, will have laid off roughly about 100,000 people over the last two years. that's probably appropriate, by the way. hope my wife didn't hear that. [laughter] but it's appropriate. because we need to contract in defense. but the point is, and this gets to scott's point, is that has some level of economic impact. the reason they're laying folks
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off, of course, is the downturn, but also the department of defense because of furloughs and soon to be riffs, they're delaying the contracts. and so what used to take three months or six months is now taking a year to write a contract, and the industry's not going to pay for guys to stand around a year waiting for the department of -- small example that has long-term, interesting ripple effects in the economy which will depress it, that's the real fiscal impact, in my view, not just the raw dollars coming from the department of defense. it's how it affects the behavior of the agencies that then translates into how it affects the behavior of the folks who are supporting federal government activities. >> just there's a short-term impact to government spending which, i mean, if you look at cbo to, they say it's stimulative, good thing, and there's a long-term impact which is a drag on the economy because of the increased debt. and cbo points that out as well. so you could say, yeah, this is going to have a short-term impact that's going to be detrimental. but we spend over $800 billion
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on stimulus a few years ago, that is now putting a drag on the economy. we got the still la effect -- stimulative effect out of that. there's always a balance here, if you believe what most people say, so that's just important to keep in mind. if you keep thinking short term, you forget about the drag that eventually this puts on the economy later on. >> it's not exactly a drag. i mean, that investment is now producing growth in the economy. not enough, but little. so to some extent that stimulus effect did what it was supposed to do and is not so much a drag deny. >> but you look at how cbo scored the stimulus bill in net over ten years, it was a net minus. very small, but eventually makes up -- because you're changing the spending of resource. you can't create. you're changing the timing of when the growth is happening. so that's, that's just important to keep in mind as a balance there. >> i just want to add to that,
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and i think -- and it gets back to a point scott made earlier. the federal government does things that nobody else can do, right? and most all the policy that the federal government -- and this is going to sound preachy. i don't mean it that way, but it's a point that dave obey made earlier. most everything that the government does has an effect on our society. tax policy is social policy. it is. decisions that we make about discretionary funding reflects the values of the federal government hopefully, but less so these days than it used to be, the values of our society. so if we want a tax policy or we want a domestic discretionary policy that says that we're going to, you know, advantage x to the detriment of y, i think that that's a debate that gets lost these days in the discussion of accounting and numbers and the deficit.
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unfortunately, when the deficit became the center of national political debate back in the '80s when graham-rudman, we sort of lost that sense, i think, that what we're doing here -- the budget is, basically, is just a blue print of policy. but now the blueprint has become the focus as opposed to the policy. and i think that's something we might want to take away from this discussion as well. >> the other thing i'd say is, you know, these things come in cycles. and as people look at the long term, you need to think about what's -- and this is very difficult to do because i don't think we have much confidence ten years out as to what exactly is going to happen. but at the end of the clinton administration, we had budget surpluses as far as the eye could see, right? and no one was talking about budget deficits and big problems then so much.
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that surplus disappeared over last decade, and new people are focused on -- and now people are focused on deficits as biggest problem in the world. at the same time, the economy is starting to grow again, and as it grows, more revenues are going to come. five or ten years from now it's quite possible without doing anything, just muddling through along the lines that we've been talking about here, the country might end up to be just fine five or ten years from -- >> i don't think so. >> you have to be careful. >> i don't think so. you take a look at the long-term projections, we can't grow our way out. cbo's long-term projections, they haven't updated them, and can they're going to redo them, currently have new growth of 2.5%. could we have higher than that a? sure. could we have it high enough to eliminate the deaf -- deficits that are coming? no. the major problem and we said in the first thing is health, health and health. the health expenditures on the
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u.s. are close to 18% of gdp, that's medicare, medicaid, veterans', defense and all private. the next highest country is below 12%, france, where i lived. the average for oecd is half, half of what the u.s. is. now, those are 2011 figures or something like that. if you look for projections -- and there aren't projections for the other countries -- for the projections for the u.s., they're scheduled to grow. that's not surprising, all right? we're adding a lot of people because of the affordable care act and however much they consume. most of all because the population is aging. the last hhs figures indicate that health expenditures, again total, will go from just under 18% to well over 19% within the next ten years. there isn't a realistic growth rate that is going to get us to pay for that. but one thing that scott said that i'd like to say that he was talking about revenues of other countries being different and you don't necessarily see lower
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growth rates. one of those countries with higher revenues is sweden. sweden has a much higher revenue base and has had a pretty high growth rate. but one thing sweden does also have is it caps spending period. not just discretionary spending, it caps health spending, disability spending, other spending. we may be headed in that direction where we have some sort of cap -- >> sweden caps it at 48% be of gdp. >> that's true, but they hold it. and they have taxes. >> one element of future uncertainty i would still say we've all talked about the growth of health care and that something has to be done about it. but in the last year, something has been dope about it. what we don't know so much, i think, is what will the affordable care act do? what will its effect with on
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overall expenditures for health care, overall health of the country over the next five or ten years? there's a lot of disagreement about that because we're entering a whole new world. but it's not impossible to conceive of a world that the affordable care act changes the dynamics of these cost curves five or ten years from now. and so you have to think about and deal with those uncertainty ies as you go into the future. >> dennis, i think that's right in terms of there's a possibility -- and we've seen evidence in the last 24 months of a real slowdown in health care costs. and for the first time, we're going into a recovery with very flat growth there. but, you know, i think it's more than health care. really it's retirement generally. it's the whole retirement. real per capita spending in this country has increased by 30% in the last 25 years, since the last year of the ray began administration.
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reagan administration. all of that increase is social security, medicare and medicaid. those three programs account for more than 100%. in terms of real per capita discretionary spending, we're below where we were in end of the reagan administration right now. the difference going forward is that we were adding about half a billion elderly to those programs. we're now adding a million and a half. we're adding three times as many per year going forward as we added going back. so the challenge of dealing with that is huge. and the issue we face, i think very simply, are we going to pay for those retirement programs -- and i think we probably are when the american people have their say, when this all gets hashed out -- or are we going to raise the taxes to pay for them? the taxes to pay for them are ability 4-5% of gdp.
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we'd still be one of the lowest tax countries in the world. we could pay for those retirement programs and maintain the standard of life for the people we have, or we can do what we're doing now which is ignore either of those choices and go after little, tiny programs and act like we're doing something about the deficit when, in fact, we're eating our seed corn and killing the investments in science and education that we need to be prosperous in the future. >> well, i think you've got the final word on this panel. paul, do you want to come up here? >> well, i think we have had a very interesting morning dealing with these issues that sometimes don't get aired. sometimes i think when the american public thinks about government, they think of a big vending machine. you put your money in, and and you get your program out. i think the picture we've seen here is of managers furiously trying to keep it together under some incredible constraints and difficulties and challenges whether it's furloughs or cuts
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in programs or uncertainty and the like. and i think what we've also heard is the notion that managers can do a lot, and members of congress can do a lot to keep us from going over the cliff. but as former governor thompson might say, he was once president of amtrak, this is no way to run a railroad. and it has long-term impact on lots of issues that we care about as a society. and i think that's what this panel and the private one have really revealed. well, i want to thank everybody for coming. i want to thank jonathan breul for doing an excellent job moderating, also allison grant here, carrie drummond and david brownstein at george mason, i want to thank you for helping us put on this event, and thank you all very much. [applause]
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>> acting irs commissioner daniel wore fell testifies before the house ways and means committee this morning about the implementation of the new health care law. he'll be joined by the deputy administrator from the centers for medicare and medicaid. watch live coverage starting at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span3. in a few moments, the senate comes in and will work on judicial nominations. be funeral for former ambassador and congresswoman lendyboggs will be held this morning in new orleans. she was the wife of the late house minority leader and mother of journalist cokie roberts. yesterday members of the house gave tributes to the louisiana democrat. lindy boggs was 97. >> speaker, i rise today to pay tribute to a former member of
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the house and a grand lady from louisiana, ms. lindy boggs. she was a pioneer for the state of louisiana, and she served louisiana's second congressional district following death of her late husband who was then the majority leader of the house. she was the first woman elected to represent the state of louisiana in congress, and she was a founder of the congresswomen's caucus, and in tribute to her service as a pioneer for women, the women -- congressional women's reading room is rightfully named in her honor down the hall. lindy was the first woman and only louisiana ambassador to the holy sea during the tenure of pope john paul ii. lindy effortlessly balanced her role as a respected leader and a loving mother. she loved her city of new orleans, in fact, lived on bourbon street for many of her later years in new orleans. she loved her beloved tulane
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university and, in fact, just recently she and her daughter participated in a benefit just a few weeks ago in new orleans. she's somebody who will be dearly missed and someone who we are honored to have, to be able to call a former creeing -- colleague of ours here in the house. and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition in. >> [inaudible] >> gentleman's recognized for one minute. >> i would also like to join my colleague from louisiana, representative scalise, and our leader, leader pelosi, in recognizing such a great and remarkable woman. it is with a heavy heart that i rise to recognize the loss of a true legend in louisiana, ambassador and former representative lindy boggs. she was never afraid to fight for justice and demand equality. he took the responsibility of service seriously. addressing the plight of everyday people in the state of
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louisiana and our nation are better for it. a first class woman who enjoyed numerous firsts and an effective legislator, she loved this body, earning the respect of her colleagues on both sides of the aisle which is exampled here today with congressman scalise and i. and she loved her family. a role model for all of us. and this was this year we were able to during women's history month recognize former ambassador boggs on her 97th birthday with a tribute. with that, mr. speaker, i would just ask that we take a moment of silence unless the leader is going to speak and recognize the great contribution and sacrifice of a truly remarkable louisiana citizen who i think displays what's best of the best in louisiana. so, mr. speaker, with that, i would ask for a brief moment of silence. >> what purpose does the gentle lady from california seek reck mission? >> to join our colleagues -- [inaudible] >> gentle lady's recognized.
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>> thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlemen for the kind words that they have said about our former colleague, congresswoman lindy boggs. i associate myself with those remarks and would only add that bipartisanship was the nature of how ms. boggs served in this body. when we would have our heated discussions on the floor, she was call us back and say, darling, hell used to always say don't fight every fight as if it's your last fight. we are all friends. we are resourced to each other to do good things for our country. no wonder a room is named for her, a room that has shared bipartisan enjoyment and participation, where we've come together as democrats and republicans to bring about solutions. mr.-- it was referenced that we had a bipartisan tribute to her on her birthday, march 13th, and i think you would find some joy
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in the fact that as a devout catholic, that was her birthday, that was when we planned to have the tribute, that was the day that white smoke went up in the can chimney in rome. and so for her birthday we could also celebrate a new pope, pope francis. what better gift for her than to enjoy that on her birthday. so some of us will be in new orleans for her, for her service tomorrow. all of us send our prayers to the family. hope it's a comfort to them that so many people loved lindy boggs, share their brief and are raying for them at this time -- praying for them at this time. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. thank you. >> one, i think they serve as a window on the past to what was going on with american women at, you know, any given time in our past history. so if you look at a first lady's life, you get a view of what's going on with women.
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the other thing that i find very interesting from a women's history standpoint is that it's the conjunction of the public and private lives of women which is a topic that many scholars are very interested in and i think first ladies just epitomize the coming together of the public and the private life in an individual. >> our original series, first ladies: influence and image -- examines the public and private lives of these women and their influence on the presidency. watch the encore presentation from martha washington to i'd saw dc kinly -- ida mckinly next week on c-span. >> and the u.s. senate about to gavel in. senators will begin today with general speeches, and at 11 eastern they'll consider a nomination for the u.s. appeals court. that vote will be followed on a
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vote about limiting debate to transportation, housing and community development projects. this afternoon senators debate the nomination of samantha power for u.s. ambassador to the united nations. we have live coverage now of the senate here on c-span2. senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal lord god, the source of our life, you are high above all, yet in all. keep us from becoming weary in doing what is right, as you use us for your instruments in these challenging times. empower our senators to bring your freedom to those shackled
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by fear. help them to lift the burdens that are too heavy for people to carry. lengthen their vision that they may see beyond today and make decisions that will have an impact for eternity. and, lord, in a special way bless dave schiappa as he prepares to transition to new vocational opportunities. thank you for his decades of faithful service for you and country on capitol hill. be gracious to him and his family. we pray in your loving name.
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amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c., august 1, 2013. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable brian schatz a senator from the state of hawaii, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the
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clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i have a few matters -- the presiding officer: we are in a quorum call. mr. reid: i'm going to consent to terminate it. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, following leader remarks, the senate will be in morning business until 11:00 this morning. the time until that will be equally divided and controlled between the majority leader and the republican leader. at 11:00 the senate will proceed to executive session to consider the chen nomination to be united states circuit judge for the federal circuit. also at 11:00 there will be a filing deadline for all second-degree amendments to the transportation bill. at noon there will be two roll call votes on confirmation of chen and cloture on the thud bill. following those votes the senate will recess until 2:00 p.m. for a bipartisan caucus meeting. this afternoon there will be a roll call vote on the power
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nomination to be ambassador to the united nations. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: this morning i'd like to say a few words about somebody who won't be around when we get back after the recess. after nearly 30 years in the senate, dave schiappa's hanging up his cleats. dave's not exactly a household name. i think he actually likes it that way. but there's no question to those of us who work here day in and day out that nobody, nobody is more essential to the running of this place than dave. to the extent that we get anything done around here, it's largely because of dave. and to the extent that we're not getting into shouting matches and food fights the rest of the time, well, that's largely thanks to dave too. he's been the glue and he's been the grease that keeps this place functioning, and we're really going to miss him. as secretary for the republican
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majority and minority under three different leadership offices, dave's been the eyes and the ears on the floor for the republican leaders going back more than a decade. he's also been our chief diplomat on the other side. he's answered a million questions from all of us at all hours, always with the same tact, wicked sense of humor, and sharp mind that's made him not just an indispensable help to our conference, but also the kind of guy you just like having around this place. i know i'm speaking for everybody when i say that. when i announced dave's departure to the leadership team earlier this week, the entire room, senators and staff, erupted in applause. i assure you it wasn't because folks were glad to see him go. there's just nobody you'd rather be with in a foxhole or just killing time on the senate floor than dave. now, dave's had a pretty
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illustrious career before he got the big office up on the third floor. prior to joining the senate as a cloakroom assistant at the tender age of 21, legend has it that he did stints as a bartender. that was while he was in college. and as a hot dog vendor out on the national mall during summers in high school. as far as i know, these are the only two jobs outside the senate that dave's ever had. somehow they turned out to be great preparation for this place. i'm not exactly sure why that is, but i'm sure we could all come up with some interesting theories about that so dave came here right out of college, back when there were no cameras on the floor. just a radio. his job back then was basically to perform the role of play-by-play announcer, telling offices what happens happening
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out here on the floor, matching the voices with names, and jut letting everybody know where things stood at all times. i wanted to have a poster out here with a photo of dave from those days, but all the photos have mysteriously somehow disappeared. someone suggested it might have something to do with the fact that dave sported a pretty serious 1980's mustache back then. maybe cheryl can dig up that good photo from the family collection. in 1994, dave moved out of the cloakroom and on to the floor as the republican floor assistant. two years after that, he was named assistant secretary for the majority. and two weeks before 9/11, in august 2001, senator lott named him secretary for the majority. since then the two parties have swung back and fourth a couple of times, but dave's been one of the constants.
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smoothing out all the rough edges during 1,000 legislative fights, providing indispensable strategic advice to me and to the rest of our conference, and just generally keeping everybody on both sides informed of everything that's going on out here. it's not easy. it's not easy telling senators they won't get an amendment they have been fighting for or that they have to wait. but dave's always had the perfect temperament for that job. nobody on earth, nobody knows more about senate press -- precedent and procedure than dave schiappa and nobody wears their knowledge and skill more lightly. so we're going to miss him a lot. we'll 5u8 miss his -- we will all miss his dave-isms whether reporting a senator showed up in the cloakroom in a three-point stance or the week is shaping up to be a nothing burger. those are dave-isms.
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and he'll take some secrets hopefully with him. it will remain remain a mystery, for example, how dave stuffs all those cards into his suit coat pocket. ask dave a question about anything, and he'll have the answer written on some card inside his coat. the secrets of the senate are contained on those cards. they say there are no indispensable men, though many of us have long suspected that dave's the exception. i guess we'll soon find out. dave, thanks for all you've done for all of us and for your devotion to the institution. i know how much the senate means to you personally. and we all appreciate how much you've given to it over the years. some folks complain about the hours and the unpredictable schedule around here. but dave's got us all beat. he's not the -- he's not only here whenever we are, he's here after the lights go out finishing up the business of the
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day, sending out e-mails, tying up loose ends or loose tarps, as he might put it. we're all glad you finally have a little predictability in your life, which brings me to my last point, which is almost -- which is almost actually the most important. nobody who has a family can handle this place without an understanding spouse. so i want to thank cheryl for putting up with this place over the last 23 years. dave tells the story that early on in their marriage, cheryl got dave tickets to a show at the kennedy center for his birthday. when he called to tell her something had come up and that he couldn't make it, she didn't know what he was talking about. dave explained that he was stuck, and there just wasn't anything he could do about it. it's just how the senate works. it was the last time she questioned his job or his schedule. so as much as i'm here to thank dave, i want to thank cheryl. i want cheryl to know we're just
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grateful to her for all the sacrifices she's made over the years to make it work for dave and their family. ask dave why he's been here so long and he'll tell you it's the people. but the truth is dave's one of the best this place has ever seen. i have no doubt about it. dave, on behalf of the entire senate family, thanks for everything. you'll be missed. harry -- i say to my friend, the majority leader, let me call up a resolution before your comments, and then we'll move on. i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 212 and that the clerk read the resolution. and this time i'm going to have the clerk read the raogs. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the resolution. the clerk: s. res. 212 commending david j. schiappa. whereas david schiappa loyally served the senate for 29 years his entire professional career starting in the senate in
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december 1984. whereas david schiappa grew up in maryland and graduated from dematha catholic high school, the university of maryland and john hopkins university. whereas dave schiappa rose through all the positions in the republican cloakroom finally serving as either secretary for the majority or secretary for the minority for the last three republican leaders. whereas dave schiappa has at all times discharged the duties of his office with great dedication, diligence and sense of service, this earning the respect of republican and democratic senators alike as well as their staffs and whereas his good humor, story-telling ability and easy going manner made him an invaluable member of the senate family now therefore be it resolved the senate is expresses its appreciation to david schiappa and his family and commend him for his outstanding and faithful service to the senate.
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the secretary of the senate shall transfer copy of this resolution to the senate. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the preamble be agreed to and the motion to reconsider be agreed to with no intervening action or debate. mr. reid: i object. (laughter). mr. reid: i withdraw the objection. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: in addition to david leaving, rohit kumar is also leaving. i don't know what he did for senator mcconnell, but most of the time i didn't like it. but i hrerd in our conversations -- i learned in our conversations, most of them in the back of the room here, what a fine man he is and how smart he is. he's incredibly intelligent. he's good at his job. and as i've just indicated, a
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little too good sometimes. even though we at times knew what happens happening because he was behind it, i'm really sorry to see him leave the senate. he's a good person. i admire him and have such great respect for him. and i wish him success and happiness in his next endeavor. he has a beautiful young daughter that he boasts about all the time, rightfully so. he and his wife hillary i'm confident will have a very pleasant life outside the senate, even though we'll all miss him. mr. president, when i learned david schiappa was going to leave, i had a brief conversation with him in the back of the chamber here, and i'm not much for being very
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emotional, but if there were ever a time when i felt like shedding a tear was in saying, as i did, goodbye to david. parting is such sweet sorrow, and that's what i said to him. and it really -- and it really is. it's from shakespeare. good night, good night, parting is such sweet sorrow, and it really is. if you're looking for someone who is a true washington insider , you need look no further than david. he was actually born in washington, d.c. for a quarter of a century, he has made the trains run on time in the republican cloakroom. for 13 of those years, he served as republican secretary. he has been secretary, as the republican leader mentioned,
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when republicans held the majority and the minority. and regardless of who controlled this chamber, my observation was that he's always managed the floor with integrity and an even temper. he has been a real pleasure to work with. when gary wasn't around, his counterpart, i would go up to dave, ask him a question. i never had any concern about the answer because he would always tell me the truth. sometimes i didn't like to hear the truth, but he was always very forthright and candid. no matter how bad things got on the floor between members, dave and his democratic counterpart, gary myrick, were always looking for a path forward. gary myrick has been so important to this body, along with dave. how these people love these
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jobs, these staff members. i try to tell people about my staff, about senate staff in general. i mean, they do this because it's public service. he's put in 20 years. longer than 20 years. he is 50 years old. he is going to go to another career. and i understand that for him and his family. gary myrick has been my chief of staff. he ran my office, but he loved this floor so very, very much. this was always his dream job, even though he was on paper a big shot, being the democratic leader's chief of staff. that isn't what he wanted to do. he wanted to come to the senate floor where he was raised in his employment and he knew this was the job that he wanted, and he told me that, and so i arranged things that he could come and be the secretary to the majority
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here. but he, gary myrick and david schiappa were always looking for a way forward. they sorted through what i wanted, what the republican leaders wanted and they didn't always arrive at the conclusion of what the republican leader or i wanted, and sometimes that wasn't possible, but they really through long, hard days and even longer nights, through holidays and birthdays, his friendly misdemeanor. and gary's misdemeanor is not nearly as friendly as dave's, but it's just as effective. he is -- they have worked so well together. they are really a team that someday when the history of this institution is written, they will have to talk about these two good men who made this place work through some of the most difficult times this body has
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ever seen. he will be missed by democrats and republicans alike, and that is the truth. now, i don't -- all the times that we have talked, we have talked about important things most of the time. he and gary, i understand, have been working together in the 1980's, and they are supposedly great storytellers, one and all, but i know that the time they spend together, supposedly, as gary said, they would disappear, gary would disappear, and i would come back and say where have you been? he said well, we -- i was with david. what were you talking about? and he would say -- here was his response to me. i want to make sure i get it right. gary would say i have no idea. but there was only a way of covering for both of them because they were so candid and forthright with each other, they always have been, and they would
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never, ever divulge anything that i was doing or going to do or that leader mcconnell was -- had done or was going to do. they were absolutely confidential in their communications with each other. that's how they trusted each other. so when gary said he had no idea, he knew every idea. he just wasn't going to tell me what they talked about. and i'm sure passing the hours with each other, two such fine men, even though they were -- a difficult situation they found themselves forced to talk, i'm sure time passed quickly because they are such good people. i know they will be successful, david, at whatever he does. i congratulate him, thank him for three decades of valued service to the united states senate and to our country. i wish him and his wife cheryl and his children ali and mason -- by the way, that's my
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middle name -- real happiness. i really mean it when i say parting is with such sweet sorrow. would the chair announce the business of the day? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business until 11:00 a.m., with the time equally divided and controlled
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between the two leaders or their designees, and with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: mr. president, i thank the majority leader, the republican leader, for what they expressed about david schiappa. we rank and file senators feel the same way on both sides of the aisle. i was reminded that the late alex haley, the author of "roots," once said that when an old person dies, it's like a library burning down. david is neither old nor dying, but there is some similarity in what's happening, because with his leaving after 30 years, some -- a number of volumes from the senate library are going out the door. we won't have that wisdom, that experience, that knowledge that's been so valuable to us, and that's been especially important to a senate where
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nearly half the members with in their first term, because this is an institution that depends on precedent and understanding and respect of -- of its strengths over a long period of time. i've had a chance to work with dave at the request of senator mcconnell at the beginning of the last two congresses to work on the senate rules, and in working with david and with gary, what i found is they were representing our point of view, but they also had such a love of the institution that they wanted to make sure that whatever we came up with enhanced it, strengthened it and didn't destroy it. so we -- we wish dave the best. we have admired his service and his friendship, and we hope that over the next few years, he will allow us to bring those volumes of wisdom and knowledge and experience back because occasionally we may need to read them. thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the
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senator from mississippi. mr. cochran: mr. president, i'm very pleased to be able to join my colleagues in wishing dave schiappa well in his next adventure in life, and knowing it will be successful, and also build upon his knowledge and experience here in the u.s. senate. i know his contributions will continue, and it will be a pleasure to continue to follow him in whatever career or noncareer or on vacation, whatever he chooses to do, will be happy and rewarding as has his tenure here in the united states senate. no one is more respected, more appreciated than david schiappa. so it is a sad day in many ways to see him leave, but a happy one to know that he's going to begin a new era, and we will watch him closely and stay in touch with him and continue to
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appreciate him for throughout his career and life. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: mr. president, i'd just like to add to the comments. in wyoming, we have what's called the code of the west. and while david schiappa may be the man of washington, he abides by the code of the west. there are ten points, i won't make them all, but it's to live each day with courage, take pride in your work, and we see that here year after year. do what needs to be done. if you make a promise, keep it. we also say ride for the brand. finally, we say -- and this really applies to david. it's speak less and say more. and this is a man when he speaks, we all listen, like the old e.f. hutton commercial, but he really does epitomize what we
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look to in terms of leadership, and the guidance has been so wonderful for all of us. so i just wanted to rise from the west to tell you that -- to tell you, mr. president, that david schiappa has done a remarkable job for all of us of both parties and a wonderful job for this country. thank you, mr. president. i yelled the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. many of us will be leaving in the next few days, heading home to states across the country. as we do, we'll be traveling our states, listening to our constituents and hearing what is on their minds. one of the things that i hear about every weekend in wyoming is that people are concerned about the president's health care law, and specifically how the law affects them, affects their lives, affects their families, affects their jobs, and people all across wyoming and i believe all across the country are angry, angry that the white house is unfairly giving employers a one-year delay in the mandate to offer insurance but did not delay the individual mandate, the mandate that says every american must buy or hold washington-approved insurance. and for many of these people, this is very expensive insurance.
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instead of granting a permanent delay or helping all americans, president obama and his supporters are trying to convince the american people that this health care law is working just fine. once again, the obama administration is lecturing the american people instead of listening to the american people. they think that if they just give more speeches and deliver more sales pitches, that the american people will finally like this law. it's not going to happen. but just look at how far the obama administration is willing to go with its latest sales pitch. last week, cnn reported that the administration called together a bunch of hollywood celebrities, hollywood celebrities to help convince young americans to buy expensive health coverage. mr. president, the youth of america are not going to fall for it, even though many of these hollywood stars are great actors who always remember their lines, young americans understand that obamacare is the wrong script for america.
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even though some of these stars deliver funnyjection on "saturday night live," they are -- funnyjection on "saturday night live," -- funny jokes on "saturday night live," they will find this health care law is not a laughing matter. in fact, americans of all ages find the law is unaffordable, unworkable and deeply unpopular. they are also finding out it's unfair. that's what cbs found out last week. they did a poll. they found that 54% of americans disapprove of the law. it also found that only 13% of the people say that the law will actually help them personally. three times as many americans in the poll believe that the law will hurt them personally. three times as many people believe that the law will hurt them personally than the people that it will help. so over the next couple of months, the american people can expect a barrage of advertising. there was a big story about it today in "the new york times"
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about musicians playing songs on the west coast, trying to get people to sign up for the -- for the exchanges. all aimed at trying to distract the american people from the health care train wreck that is coming. according to the associated press, at least $684 million will be spent nationally on publicity, marketing and on advertising for the law. "the washington post" found that the states will be running ads not just on tv and radio -- you're not going to believe this -- they are also putting slogans on coffee cups, on airplanes flying banners across beaches and even, believe it or not, on portable toilets. nearly $700 million, a windfall for advertising agencies and a hard sell for hardworking taxpayers. so the administration is picking the pockets of the american people for advertising while the health care law is shrinking the
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paychecks of the people who can only find part-time work. speaking of part-time workers, i'd like to talk about a new story that has come out that demonstrates the height of hypocrisy surrounding the president's health care law. frankly, the story is so outrageous that it's one of those things you can't even make it up. the headline of the article reads -- quote -- "half of affordable care act call center jobs will be part time." here are the details. the article is about a new call center in contra costa county, california. this is part of an effort to have the so call navigators who will answer america's questions about the health care law. the call center ran ads for more than 200 jobs, and it said that all of these jobs will be full time. that's what people are looking for in america, full-time jobs, full-time work. but once the new workers started training, some of them got a different story. they found out that they would actually be part-time employees
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with no health benefits. let me emphasize that point. even the obamacare navigators are not going to be covered by the health care law and are not going to be provided health care. even some of the navigators will not know how they can get affordable health care coverage even though they are the ones that are supposed to be giving advice to americans. even some navigators are being forced to work part time because the company cannot afford to provide the expensive government-mandated approved insurance that they're supposed to teach others how to get. it turns out that the obamacare navigators need their own obamacare navigators. the article even quotes one worker saying, what's really ironic is working for a call center and trying to help people get health care, but we can't afford it ourselves. that's what this administration
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has done to this country. i don't call that ironic. i call it outrageous. so the question is, who are the navigators going to call for help? and how are they going to answer americans' questions when many of them don't know how they are personally going to be able to afford the health care coverage that the government and the president of the united states mandates that they have. the bad news is that this story is only one of many new examples of hypocrisy recently surrounding the president's health care law enforcement week after week we have seen labor unions one after another, labor unions who originally supported the law now express concerns about how the health care law will impact their members' access to care. late last week we even heard from something called the national treasury employees union.
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it's important to know that this union represents most of the i.r.s. workers, the 100,000 i.r.s. workers who are the ones who are going to be enforcing the health care law. and what about these i.r.s. work centers what do they say? the i.r.s. employee union said they are very concerned that they might actually have to buy their own health insurance in the exchanges, just like other americans. now these are the exact same i.r.s. agents who will collect massive amounts of data, personal data on people's individual lives and their health care choices. they will investigate whether people have the right coverage. they will apply the tax penalties to anyone who doesn't. these are the agents who now say they want no part of the health care law's exchanges for themselves. they actually have sample letters that the union has sent to the i.r.s. agents to send to
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members of congress to say "i am one of your constituents, and we don't want to apply to us. and we want to hear back from you." well, this health care law is bad for all americans. each of those stories demonstrates again that the president's health care law is fundamentally broken. instead of spending the rest of the summer trying to sell an expensive failing product, the president should simply listen. he should listen to young people, young people who are about to see their premiums soar. he should listen to obamacare navigators who can't find affordable health care. he should listen to the i.r.s. agents who enforce the law, who don't want to live under the law. he should listen to the american people and what they have to say about the high costs of their health insurance coverage. he should listen to what americans have to say about how hard it is to find a doctor, to find a doctor who will take care
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of them. front page story, so many people on medicare cannot get a doctor to take care of them. why? because of the health care law. 20% of family physicians in this country, the story reported in the "wall street journal," 20% of family physicians are not taking new medicare patients. 33% are not taking new medicaid patients. but a big part of the president's health care law was force more people on to medicaid, a program that is not working already. the president should listen to what americans have to say about how hard it is to keep their current coverage, and the president should listen to what the american people have to say about trying to make ends meet on a part-time salary. a part-time salary because of the health care law, because of the incentives of the health care law to knock down employees' work hours to fewer than 30. then he should come back to washington after he actually listens, not lectures, come back to washington, sit down with
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congress, republicans and democrats working together and work on real solutions that will give americans what they wanted in the first place with health care, which is the care they need from a doctor they choose at lower costs. things that have not been provided under a health care law. and remember, as nancy pelosi said, first you have to pass it to find out what's in it. the american people now know more and more what's in this health care law, which is why it is even less popular today than it was the day it passed and why for every one american who thinks they will be helped by the health care law, three americans believe that their lives will be made worse by the law forced through this body. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the
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clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. mr. president, if you come to my office in the russell building, you will russialy be greeted by one of the young and eager staffers who welcome visitors and who answer the phones at the front desk. every once in a while, you will find instead someone with a little more experience, my chief of staff, who has got now about 30 years of senate service, in fact. now, david lyles often takes time to sit at the front desk and to answer phone calls, not during the slower, easier days of a surgeon summer recess, buts instead when a constituent calls are the hottest and the heaviest. it's his way of staying connected to the flow of
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feedback coming into the office and of letting the staff know that everybody, from the most experienced staffer to the most recent college graduate, is responsible for responding to the people that we all serve. but it's also his way of providing some relief to the pressure that these young new staffers are under, particularly when answering the phone calls at various times when issues are very, very contentious. that hands-on approach is emblematic of david's leadership, leadership that has meant so much to my work in the senate and to me personally. at the end of this week, when david lyles retires from the senate, we're going to miss his passion, his dedication, his south carolina maxims, his encyclopedic knowledge of the senate, civil war history, and also his vast knowledge of the best bicycling routes in northern virginia. nearly all of david's professional life has been in public service, and nearly all
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that service has been spent with the aim of strengthening our nation's security and honoring our commitments to the men and women of our military. after more than 30 years of senate service, most of it spent with the armed services committee, first as a professional staff member, then as deputy staff director and from 1997-2003 as director of the democratic staff, before agreeing to serve as my chief of staff in my personal office. he also served earlier with the senate appropriations committee as a civilian member of the pentagon staff and as staff director of the 1995 base realignment and closure commission, a difficult and at times thankless job that was nonetheless of major importance to our nation. his armed services committee career encompassed some of the most significant national security challenges of our
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time -- the end of the cold war, the persian gulf war, the 2001 terrorist attacks, the wars in iran and iraq and afghanistan, as well as the immense technological changes and major budget challenges that we have faced during his years here. i've asked david twice to change jobs. first in 1997 when i asked him to leave a brief stint in the private sector to serve as democratic staff director on the armed services committee, and second when i asked him to give up that position to join my personal office as the chief of staff. now i made these requests because i value his judgment, his knowledge, and his integrity and because i know of his love and his respect for this institution. when new staffers join our office, david will usually walk them down to this senate floor, bring them to the staff benches behind me along the walls, give
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them a chance to see in person what most have only seen on c-span, and to share some of the mix of excitement and responsibility that david still feels when he comes to this floor. david once told a reporter from "the washington post" -- quote -- "i've always felt that anonymity was the key to job security." well, i'm sorry to blow his cover, but david's outstanding career is worthy of public praise. he served the american people and the united states senate with great distinction. he has helped protect the men and women in uniform and their families. he has led the men and women in his charge with patience and loyalty and modesty and at times a great challenge for the senate and the nation. i am and i always will be deeply grateful to david lyles for his wise counsel, for his loyalty,
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for his friendship, and above all, for his integrity. i wish david and his wife annie a long and a happy retirement full of visits with laughing grandchildren, untroubled waters to paddle and smooth roads to ride. mr. president, i yield the floor, and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. chambliss: mr. president, is the senate in morning business? the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. chambliss: i would ask the quorum call be dispensed with and be allowed to speak as if in morning business for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. chambliss: mr. president, i rise this morning to speak about my good friend and a great friend of this institution who will be leaving us this week, dave schiappa. i remember after i got elected
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in 2002, there was a transition in the leadership on the republican side from trent lott to senator bill frist, and trent told me one day that the first thing he told bill frist was you go bake sure that dave schiappa is going to be your floor leader, and that's exactly what bill did. i was new to the united states senate, i did not know my way around or much less know the rules, and i simply don't know how i would have functioned over the last ten years without dave schiappa being here. he has been that valuable to all of us as members of the senate. he is valuable frankly to both sides of the aisle. i have heard a number of my democratic friends over the last 24 hours since we became aware of dave's departure who have said gee, i don't know what i'm going to do without dave schiappa being here. so our floor leaders are all so
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vitally important, and we do reach out to those members on the other side who inform us from time to time of what's going on. they are always straight with us. and this institution couldn't operate without them. dave has certainly been our leader. he's very smart, very knowledgeable and he's very hard working. all of these folks work such long hours, they are here long after we are here and they are here well before we get here the next morning, and we owe a deep debt of gratitude to all of them, but particularly when someone like dave schiappa who has been here for 28 years makes a move on to another life, it's imperative that we say dave, thanks for your great work, thanks for your inspiration to all of us. dave knows this institution probably better than any member on the republican side, certainly, and the one thing i
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will always remember dave for is that dave, number one, keeps his word if you tell him that i have an issue with a bill or an issue hueneme or that you have an amendment you want to get called up, dave takes care of you. he has been so valuable to all members of the senate during his tenure, and we're truly going to miss him. but i know the next life is going to hold great things for him. he will be very successful there, and we certainly wish him the best. mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that my next comments be placed in the record immediately prior to the vote on samantha power to be the next ambassador to the united nations as that's what i am rising to speak about. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. chambliss: i rise to promote and suggest to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle that you support the nomination of
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samantha power to be the next ambassador to the united nations. this is a very complex world that we live in today, and certainly the form of the united nations in spite of some issues that all of us have had with that body over the years, it remains the one forum where the united states, number one, gets to exhibit strong leadership with our friends, allies and our enemies around the world, or our adversaries, i shouldn't say enemies, but our adversaries. and a strong voice in the united nations is imperative. samantha power is an individual who possesses the type of character, the type of strong background, the person who possesses the intellect and the right kind of ability to communicate to represent us today in this complex world at
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the united nations. samantha was born in ireland but moved to the united states shortly thereafter. she was educated in the public schools in atlanta, went on to be educated at harvard -- excuse me, at yale and at harvard, so obviously she has the intellect from a background standpoint to represent our country at the u.n. between her stints at harvard and at yale, she did reporting as a journalist on the ground, reporting on the yugoslav wars where she was hands on, dodging bullets and being involved from the standpoint of making reports to various journals and other publications about what was happening in those yugoslav wars. samantha is an individual who developed a passion for human
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rights, and she is not bashful about sharing that passion, and it is a commendable passion that she has for human rights. from 2005 forward, samantha has been involved almost exclusively in the arena of foreign policy, first as a staffer for then-senator obama, later involved in his campaign and most recently as a member of the national security staff. samantha is not just knowledgeable. she is knowledgeable in the right way when it comes to foreign policy. she is not only smart but she is worldly. she has the charisma in her own way to, number one, express herself in a way that right now the united states needs to be expressing itself, and that's why i am so excited about the opportunity to see her on the
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ground at the united nations representing our great country. she can be tough when she needs to be tough. she can be charismatic, and she can also be sharp-tongued. with the adversaries that she is going to have to be dealing with at the united nations, all of those assets are going to come into play. samantha is going to do a great job as our next u.n. ambassador. i applaud her for her willingness to engage in public service, and i would encourage all of my colleagues to support her nomination to be the next ambassador to the united nations. and i would yield the floor, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. rubio: we are in morning business, mr. president? the presiding officer: we are. mr. rubio: thank you, mr. president. i wanted to speak briefly here about obamacare once again. this is an issue that's now coming to the forefront over the next few weeks as we get ready
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to start to implement portions of it across the country. we're starting to see the implications of it. i think there is so much coverage given to this as a partisan fight between republicans and democrats or liberals and conservatives, but i actually think this issue goes much further than that because it's impacting all americans. i understand the president was here yesterday and individuals from the white house as well. according to press reports, they were here to reassure nervous democrats about the implementation of obamacare and what it could mean. and i understand why people are nervous about this bill. they have a right to be. for example, the exchanges which is these health care exchanges that are supposed to -- if you can't get insurance are supposed to go to and be able to buy insurance, they are not going as planned. just yesterday, there was a news report that in georgia they have asked for an emergency extension because they won't be up and running by october 1. news reports of more people being pushed from full-time work to part-time work. the reason why is obamacare says if you have more than 50 employees at full-time status, there are certain rules you have to follow that will cost you money. so we're starting to see evidence that people are being
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moved from full time to part time. some major companies are announcing that they are moving more people to part time. there are reports of impending rate increases. in 3450eu home state of florida just two days ago, the insurance commissioner announced that individual market rates if you're buying insurance as an individual, your rates are going to go up by 30% or 40%. we know there are many people in the middle class, hardworking americans who are happy with the health insurance coverage they have right now. they are probably going to lose that coverage. they are going to have to go to an exchange or another company that their company is now offering. that doesn't just mean you lose the insurance you're happy with. that means you lose the doctor potentially because you can only go to a doctor that's in the network on your insurance plan. if your new insurance doesn't have that doctor, you can't keep going to that doctor. add to that by the way that a lot of the original supporters of this, for example the labor unions, the teamsters just came out two weeks ago and said they want this thing suspended or repealed because it's breaking the promises it made in terms of the 40-hour workweek, the whole argument i just made about full time to part time. here is the irony.
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the labor union that represents the i.r.s. workers is asking to be exempted from obamacare, which is ironic because they're the very workers that are in charge of enforcing the law, so the people that are going to be in charge of enforcing obamacare have asked to be exempted from obamacare. there's a lot of reasons to be nervous about it if you're a supporter, but let me give you one more today, and that's the impact that it's going to have on our seniors. we haven't heard a lot of talk about this yet, but let me focus on one group of seniors in particular, and that is seniors that are on something called medicare advantage. medicare advantage is a medicare program where basically you contract with a private company to administer your benefits under medicare, and how these companies compete for your business is that they add all sorts of value-added services. for example, transportation. my mom's on medicare advantage. one of the reasons how they get her business is that in addition to good doctors, they actually will pick her up from home because she can't and doesn't drive and take her to her doctor's appointments. these are the kind of benefits that medicare advantage offers. here's the problem.
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obamacare cuts about $156 billion out of medicare advantage. by the way, not to save medicare. it throws it into the overall budget on obamacare. who uses medicare advantage? this is an interesting statistic. 40% of african-americans on medicaid use medicare advantage. 53% of hispanic beneficiaries who are on medicare use medicare advantage. 38% of people on medicare advantage make less than $30,000 a year. so what's the impact of taking $156 billion out of medicare advantage? it's about $11 billion this year alone that you're taking out of the medicare advantage program. well, that means -- and the president would say that means we're going to pay less money to these insurance companies. fine. but what's the impact of that? let me describe to you the impact of what it's going to be. first of all, you're going to see reductions in benefits, meaning a lot of these companies are going to have to save that money somewhere, and where they're going to save it is by reducing the benefits they offer you on medicare advantage. so, for example, maybe there won't be any more transportation in my mom's medicare advantage
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plan. we don't know. increases in co-pays, amount of money that seniors are going to have to come up with every time they go to the doctor or hospital. they will have to tighten physical networks. which means the number of doctors available to you will shrink. if you have a doctor now that's seeing you and they get kicked out of the network because they are tightening the network, you might not be able to keep going to the same doctor. one study found that by 2017, seniors on medicare advantage could lose on an average of $1,841 a year. this is the be impact. let me tell you why this is pernicious, why this really hurts. medicare advantage, there are some things about it that need to be fixed, but it's a good program and has good outcomes. the fact is these companies want you to go to your doctors' appointments, they want you to be getting your flu shot and your vaccine against pneumonia and things like that. why? because they want you to stay healthy, they need you to stay healthy in order for the plan to work. you see it in the results. medicare advantage patients have
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39% fewer hospital readmissions. 39% fewer. you leave the hospital. 39% reduction in people that end up going back because something went wrong. 24% fewer emergency room visits. 20% fewer hospital days. medicare advantage is a program that works. i can tell you that firsthand because i see it in my mom's life and i see it in the lives of thousands of seniors in florida that are on medicare advantage. now, you may ask yourself well, if this is so bad, why haven't we heard any of this before? and the reason is because the insurance companies because of a gag order are prohibited from talking about any of this until you start getting your benefits letter, and they're coming. if you are a senior on medicare advantage, the chances are that soon you will open up the mail to the bad news that your medicare advantage that you have and that you're happy with has been changed in a negative way for you because of obamacare. they don't know that yet because the companies have not been allowed to tell them yet, but they will have to tell them soon, and when they do, you will
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add one more concern that people should rightfully have about obamacare and the impact that it's going to have on our people. particularly on seniors. and that's why, mr. president, that's why, my colleagues, i have become so passionate about this issue. one more reason why it's so important that we stop obamacare. now, you may say well, what can we do to stop it? it's already the law. it's already in place. a lot of people have told me that. the answer is there is something we can do. it comes as recently as september. in september, in order for this government to continue to function, we have to pass a short-term budget. i wish it were a long-term budget that was balanced, but it looks like it's going to be a short-term budget. and i think we should pass a budget. we have to. we can't shut down the government. i'm not for shutting down the government. the only thing i'm saying is that when we do this short-term budget, let's fund the government. let's make sure social security checks go out, let's make sure we're funding defense to keep our nation safe. let's make sure we fund government, but let's not keep funding obamacare. let's not keep pouring money into a program that even the
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unions are now against. let's not keep pouring money into a program that not even the i.r.s. workers who are going to enforce this want for themselves. let's not keep funding this program that's going to hurt seniors on medicare advantage. let's not keep funding it. now, i'll tell you right away what the blowback is. you're threatening to shut down the government. no, i'm not. i don't want to shut down the government. in fact, the only people talking about shutting down the government are the people going around saying we will not support a short-term budget unless it funds obamacare. those are the people that are threatening to shut down the government. their position basically is that obamacare is so important that we can't possibly fund government without funding it. so the government is shut down, and i hope that doesn't happen, because of obama, that is an unreasonable position, especially in light of all the problems we know this program has. and this idea that unless we fund obamacare we must shut down the government, that is a false choice. that is not true.
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to my colleagues who oppose obamacare, -- and let me just say that every single republican opposes obamacare, and i must share with you that there is a growing number of democrats that are at least nervous about obamacare and would love for it to go away in some way, shape or form. in fact, one of them is the president. the president has actually delayed a major portion of obamacare because he knows it's going to be a disaster. and so i would just say to those who oppose obamacare, ask yourself this question -- how can you possibly go back to the people who sent you here, to the people who are going to be hurt by this, to the people being moved from full time to part time, to the businesses that can't grow, to the individuals that are going to lose the coverage they're happy with and the doctor that they've gotten to know? how could you possibly go back to them, to the seniors on medicare advantage that are going to see their benefits reduced and their out-of-pocket costs go up? how can you possibly go back to them and say i did everything i could to prevent these things from happening?
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how could you possibly say that to them? if you vote for a budget that pays for this. this september gives us the last best chance to slow this down or to stop it. and once this law starts kicking in and it starts hurting our economy, we will start crossing some points of no return. and to my colleagues on the republican side, i would just say look, if we're not willing to draw a line in the sand on this issue, what issue are we willing to draw a line in the sand on? if we're not willing to fight to the end on this issue, what issue are you willing to do it on? because right now, i can think of nothing that is hurting our economy, i can think of nothing that's hurting job creation more than the uncertainty and the fear that this law is imposing on our small businesses, on our middle class, on our working class and on our seniors. and i hope we will not let this last best chance go by. i hope we will take this opportunity to stop this law
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from hurting americans, especially the millions of seniors that rely on medicare advantage for their health care. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary, raymond t.chen of maryland to be united states circuit judge for the federal circuit. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will be one hour for debate equally divided in the usual form. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: i ask to be recognized as if in morning business for up to no more than three minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. isakson: let me stress my thanks to senator sanders for his willingness to give me this time and yield it. i am here very briefly to commend samantha power to the entire united states senate as president obama's nominee to be the u.n. ambassador representing
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the united states of america, and i do so proudly because of the great work she has done against genocide and atrocities around the world, because she has been an outspoken leader in terms of doing what's right, and i think she has the courage to represent our country on the security council better than anyone i possibly know of. i got to know samantha power by reading her book, "the problem from hell," the story about rwanda and the genocide where a million people died while the rest of the world turned and looked the other way, her calling on all people of democracies and freedom around the world did not let that happen again. when she came to the white house, she created the commission on atrocities for president obama to focus on that to see to it didn't happen again, and it was through her leadership that she forced president obama and the administration to engage in libya and end what would have been a genocide in libya on moammar qadhafi. she is smart, she is intelligent, she is tough and she has a georgia tie which i am very proud of. she graduated from a hall -- high school in dekalb county, georgia, called lakeside high
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school. she did an internship between her time at yale university for a sportscaster in the city. he was asked a few days after she left to give some description of what kind of person samantha power was. i want to read that quote to you. it's the kind of person you would want representing you in the u.n. as your ambassador. he said oh, my god, was she bright, acerbic, lightning witted and the depth of the marietta trench. that's a quote from jeff hollinger, the first person she worked for in 1988. samantha power is the right person at the right time to represent the right country in the u.n. and on the security council. i commend her to the senate and hope she receives a unanimous vote. and i yield back the balance of my time. the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: mr. president, i have five unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and
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that these requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sanders: and, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that i be allowed to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sanders: mr. president, i rise today to congratulate hundreds and hundreds of young people throughout the country who are standing up for justice, who are putting a spotlight on one of the major economic crises facing this country. today in this week and in recent weeks, we have had young people in new york city, in chicago, in washington, d.c., in st. louis, in kansas city, in detroit, in flint, michigan, and other areas around this -- fast food workers. they were people who work in
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burger king, mcdonald's, popeye, they are the ones who give you the hamburgers and the french fries. what they are saying is workers all over this country, they cannot make it on $7.25 an hour, $7.50 an hour. often they are unable to get 40 hours of work and in most cases they get no or very limited benefits. all over the country, these workers, often young people, are walking out of their establishments, their fast-food places and are educating the consumers about the economic injustice taking place in these fast-food establishments. what they are saying is we need to raise the minimum wage in this country, that american workers cannot exist on $7.25 an hour which is the national minimum wage now or $8 an hour
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or $9 an hour. my own view is that the very least we should be raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour. just do the arithmetic. if somebody is making $7.25 an hour and if they are lucky enough to be getting 40 hours a week -- and many workers are not. i was in detroit a couple of months ago talk to go fast-food workers and what they are saying is they get 20 hours a week in one place to make a living, they've got to work at another place. one young man i talked to is working at three separate locations having to travel in order to cobble together what in fact is less than a livable income by far. just do the arithmetic. to make $7.25 an hour. and if you're lucky enough to be work 40 hours a week and making about $15,000 a year, and then your social security taxes are coming out of that.
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your medicare taxes are are coming out of that. maybe some local taxes. you don't survive on $14,000 or $15,000 a year. the point is that these fast-food workers are educating the nation about the fact that hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people are working every day and falling behind economically. we have got to stand with them and we have got to raise the minimum wage in this country. mr. president, while workers at the fast food restaurants and wal-mart are earning minimum wage, i should mention the c.e.o.'s of these large corporations are in many cases making exorbitant compensation packages. the c.e.o. of burger king, a
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corporation with over 191,000 mostly low-wage workers gave its c.e.o. bernardo hee s*e a 61% pay raise pwoefgt -- boasting his total compensation to $6 toy 5 -- a $6.5 million. last year mcdonald's, a corporation with over 850,000 mostly low-wage employees, more than tripled the compensation of its c.e.o. don thompson. in 2011 mr. thompson received a mere, paltry $4.1 million. but last year because of a significant raise, the c.e.o. of mcdonald's received $13.8 million. well, if mr. thompson can make
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$13.8 million as the head of mcdonald's, surely the workers at mcdonald's can make at least $10 an hour, not $7.25 an hour, not $8 an hour. david novak, the c.e.o. of yum, brands, owners of taco bell, pizza hut and kentucky fried chicken received over $44 million in stock option. if the company has enough money to give this gentleman $44 million in stock options maybe we can end starvation wages at yum foods. mr. president, in terms of the minimum wage, since 1968, the real value of the federal minimum wage has fallen by close to 30%. the purchasing power of the minimum wage has gone down by some 30% since 1968.
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if the minimum wage had kept up with inflation since 1968, it would be worth approximately $10.56 per hour today. mr. president, the issue that our young people working in fast foods are highlighting goes beyond the fast-food industry. and the reality is that many of the new jobs being created in america today are low-wage jobs. now, i think we all recognize, even some of my republican colleagues understand that we have made significant economic gains since the collapse of the economy at the end of president bush's tenure in 2008 when we were losing 700,000 jobs a month, an unsustainable reality. 700,000 jobs a month. now we're gaining jobs, and
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that's a good thing. not enough jobs. unemployment remains much, much too high. real unemployment today is close to 14%. but in the midst of understanding the job creation process in this country, we need to know that nearly two-thirds of the jobs gained since 2009 are low-wage jobs that paid less than $13.80 an hour. the good news is we are now creating some jobs, not enough jobs. unemployment remains much too hawaii but we cannot lose track of the fact that most of the new jobs are not enough to pay people a living wage. meanwhile new jobs being created are low-wage jobs, we should remember nearly two-thirds of the jobs lost during the wall street recession were
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middle-class jobs that paid up to $21 an hour. so the economic trend is not good. the wall street crash results in mass unemployment. we're gaining new jobs. many of the jobs we're gaining are low-wage jobs. the jobs that we have lost are higher-wage jobs. and also, while we discussed the state of the economy, let's never, never forget that middle-class families have seen their incomes go down by nearly $5,000 since 1999 after adjusting for inflation. mr. president, opponents -- and there are many. the entire fast-food industry and all the big-money interests, the guys who make millions and millions of dollars a year, the people who have unbelievable pensions, who have all kinds of benefits as c.e.o.'s, they are working very, very hard to tell us in congress not to raise the
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minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour. and among many other arguments, they say well, if you raise the minimum wage, it is going to be a job killer. it will kill jobs. well, let me just say this on a personal basis. i represent the state of vermont. the state of vermont has the third-highest minimum wage in the country. it is $8.60 an hour. meanwhile, with an $8.60 an hour minimum wage, i'm happy to tell you that the state of vermont has the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the united states at 4.4%. and to be very honest with you, i have not bumped into many employers who tell us -- who tell me that i'll be hiring more and more people if we lowered the minimum wage in vermont. it does not happen. i think that is a bogus argument. the state of washington, if my memory is correct, has the highest minimum wage in the country. their unemployment rate is
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above -- their unemployment rate is lower than the national average. mr. president, there is another point that i want to make which needs, i think, to be made over and over again. you know, we talk a lot in this country about welfare reform, and i think in general when people use that expression where they are talking about a lower income people who may be breaking the law and taking advantage of programs that they are not quite eligible for. let me say a word about the need for welfare reform, but in a somewhat different tone. and let me tell you, mr. president, that the biggest welfare recipient in this country happens to be the wealthiest family in the united states of america, and that is the walton family who owns wal-mart, a family that is worth $100 billion -- more wealth, by
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the way, than the bottom 40% of the american people. the wealthiest family in america is the largest welfare recipient in america, and how is that? well, the reason is -- the reason they are so wealthy, the reason that that family is worth $100 billion is they make huge profits because they pay their workers starvation wages. but in order to keep their workers going, the taxpayers of this country through medicaid, through nutrition programs, through affordable housing give assistance to wal-mart so that their workers can keep coming to work. so somebody who works at wal-mart for $7.25 an hour or $8 an hour, as often as not their children are on medicaid, paid for by the taxpayers of this country. they and their kids are on food stamps, paid for by the taxpayers of this country. many of their employees live in
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affordable housing subsidized by the taxpayers of this country. so the walton family becomes the wealthiest family in this country while working class and middle class taxpayers provide assistance to their workers so they can continue coming to work. so i think -- let me make the very radical idea that maybe the wealthiest family in america might want to pay its employees a living wage so that the taxpayers of this country do not have to subsidize them. so, mr. president, i just want to conclude by telling those young people around the country, in major cities around this country, that many of us respect and appreciate the courage that they are showing. it's not easy to walk out of a job when you don't have any money because your employer may
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say you're out here, you're fired, but these young people have the courage to stand up and say no, we are human beings, we live in the greatest country on earth, we have got to earn a living wage, we can't make it on starvation wages. so i want to thank those young people for standing up for justice not only for themselves but for all americans, and i hope that members of congress listen carefully to what they are saying and that we go forward as soon as possible in passing a minimum wage which will provide dignity for millions and millions of workers. and with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: mr. president, for the time being, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call.
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quorum call: mr. president?
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thes majority leader. re we in a quorum
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inius consent thate ing officer: without n. mr. reid:s the next so. ulnius cons t that. e, wot would be fficer: without susanth would b,
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the presiding officer: the senator from warrick. mrs. murray: mr. president, we have spent the last several weeks --. the presiding officer: we can in a quorum call -- no, we're not in a quorum call. mrs. murray: mr. president, we have spent the last two weeks here on the senate floor talking about our bipartisan transportation and housing bill. this is a bill that is all about creating jobs, investing in our families and our communities, and laying down a strong foundation for long-term and broad-based economic growth. this bill is not exactly a bill i would have written on my own. i know it's not exactly a bill that senator collins would have written on her own. but it is a compromise bill that reflects the deep cuts we made when we set spending levels in the budget control act as well as the best ideas from both sides of the aisle of ways that we can improve and reform our
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transportation and housing investments. the transportation and housing investments in this bill have a direct impact on the families and communities that we represent from improving our roads to reduced traffic and help main street businesses to make sure that our bridgesser safe so we don't see more collapses like the one back home in my state of washington. supporting our most vulnerable families and seniors and veterans with a roof over their heads when they need it the most to investments in our communities that mayors across our country use to create local jobs in their own hometowns and so much more. senator collins and i worked very hard together to write a bipartisan bill to invest in programs that should not be partisan, and i think we succeeded. six republicans voted for this bill in committee. 73 senators voted to bring this bill to the floor for a debate. and that debate was a full and open one with amendments and votes from democrats and
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republicans. so, mr. president, i want to personal thank senator collins for her hard work, hard work on this bill and i also want to atio subcommittee,r staff on the alex keenan, dabney hague and dan burter as well as senator collins' staff who spent endless hours, kenneth altman and rasha t mafur who put in so many hours and late nights on this strong bipartisan bill. so, mr. president, after two weeks of debate and discussion in bipartisan bill before us, we are now going to move very shortly to a final vote and i want to be clear, this bill has the support of the majority of the caucus, in the house of representatives, what did we see happen yesterday? they pulled their transportation and housing bill off the floor. the republican leadership wouldn't even allow a vote on
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their bill because they didn't have a majority in their caucus. and the chairman of the house appropriations committee said that that showed that sequestration is unworkable and needs to be replaced. that is the house republican chairman. but here in the senate we have a majority and we should move to pass this bill. mr. president, the only thing that can block the passage of this bill, the only way a bipartisan bill with the support of the majority could be stopped is if republican leaders whipped their own members into filibustering a jobs and infrastructure bill that many of those republicans actually support. that's the only way. so, mr. president, the choice before us is clear. and i urge my colleagues to make the right one. this vote isn't about w orhether not you support this exact bill or agreeing with the exact spending level. as senator collins has made clear again and between, you can think the spending level is too high and still support this process in which we pass a bill
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in the senate and work with the bill, the house bill on a compromise. and you can certainly disagree with the bill and not think it should be subjected to a filibuster. mr. president, the bottom line is that a vote to wrap up and vote on this bill is a vote for jobs and the economy and for bipartisan solutions to the problems facing our nation. a vote to filibuster this bill is a vote for more gridlock, more obstruction, more partisanship and more political games. i know when i go home to washington state i want to be able to tell my constituents that democrats and republicans worked together to solve some problems, help them and grow the economy. i know there are many democrats and republicans who want to say the same. i hope they will stand with me and vote against a filibuster of our bipartisan bill. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i stand today to discuss and strongly support my bill, s. 101, the state and local government bailout prevention act. and i would urge all of us to unite to pass this bill expeditiously. let me briefly explain what it's about. i first introduced this bill, mr. president, in early 2011, february, 2011, because two things were happening. first of all, several significant state and local entities were teetering on the verge of bankrupts. -- bankruptcy. and at the same time the federal government, things in washington were in a horrible state fiscally such that we could clearly not afford to take on more spending, more debt, more responsibility. so i wanted to pass legislation that would make it crystal
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clear, we, the congress, nor the treasury department nor the federal reserve, nor any other federal entity were going to bail out state or local governments which had acted irresponsibly and tipped into bankruptcy. now, mr. president, things not have gotten better since then. in fact, things in many ways have gotten worse. and very recently just in the last few weeks detroit, the city of detroit, filed for bankruptcy, the largest municipal bankruptcy in u.s. history. other large states and local communities are teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. many states in horrible fiscal situations like california and illinois. meanwhile, mr. president, we are are not in a fundamentally sounder place here in washington at the federal level. even if we stick to the budget
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control act numbers -- and that's very much up in the air, but even if we stick to those numbers, congress will spend $967 billion in discretionary money this year and that will result in an $810 billion deficit, almost a trillion-dollar deficit this year. this nation total is almost $17 trillion in debt, and the federal reserve, its balance sheet has swollen from $800 billion in august of 2007 to over $3.5 trillion today. and so, mr. president, now more than ever, s. 101, the state and local government bailout prevention act, is appropriate, is needed, and that's why i come to the floor today to urge expeditious passage of s. 101. this bill is very simple,
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basic, straightforward but important. it would basically do four things. first, it would prohibit the use of federal funds to bail out state and local government budgets. secondly, it would prevent the federal reserve from providing assistance to or creating a facility to help, again, state and local government in a bailout situation. third, it would prevent congress and the treasury department from bailing out state and local governments. and fourth, there is specific language so we don't create any confusion that this is not intended to stop or deter or interfere with appropriate assistance in declared disaster areas. that's the sum and substance of it. s. 101, the state and local government bailout prevention act. again, mr. president, when you look at situations like detroit, the largest ever
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municipal bankruptcy, and when you look at our fiscal situation in washington at the federal level, this clear statement, this clear bar of the feds bailing out state and local government is very, very much needed. and so i ask unanimous consent that the committee on banking, housing, and urban development be discharged from further consideration of s. 101, and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration and that the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered and laid -- be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: mr. president, i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. wyden: mr. president, i'm going to be very brief. first let me say to my colleague from louisiana, he and i have worked together often on a whole host of issues, he's on virus
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environment and public works environment and public works. the reason i have to object at this time, mr. president, is the language as it's written would deal a huge body blow to more than 700 rural and heavily forested counties across the country in more than 40 of our states. it in effect could prohibit payments under the secure rural schools and community self-determination act. this legislation which was a bipartisan bill, senator larry craig and myself authorized this legislation, is a life line for these hard-hit rural communities that are working on a tightrope, mr. president, trying to balance, for example, how they're going to keep the schools open and how they're going to have law enforcement in their communities. and declining revenues from federal forests spurred the creation of this program to
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compensate for the loss of receipts from the federal forests and suffice it to say, without this legislation we could have school perhaps three days a week in a big chunk of rural america. and i mention, you know, law enforcement, the question of how you maintain 24-hour law enforcement in a lot of these areas has been drawn into question and i think without this assistance we might have some counties facing, you know, bankruptcy. and given the fact that this language does not, you know, clarify the status of the secure rural schools program, i have to object and i'm going to continue to object until teenage does -- the ladies and gentlemen clarifies it would be affect that legislation which is a life line for rural america. we've had a number of recorded votes on that particular legislation here in the senate,
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it has received overwhelming bipartisan support, was authorized on a bipartisan basis. mr. president, i'm going to yield the floor, i know colleagues want to speak on this. i just want it understood how concerned i am about the ladies and gentlemen in its present -- the legislation in its presenten form and why i have to object. ms. stabenow: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: i, too, join with our colleague from oregon in raising great concern about what this proposal would do. this is a proposal we've seen actually three of them now that would cut all federal funding for any community that has either defaulted or, more importantly, is at risk, has problems financially. so what does that mean. the presiding officer: it means any city, any county, local unit of government struggling with a tight budget could potentially lose all federal funding? we're not talking about a bailout here.
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we're talking about the same federal funds that go to every community. no funding for emergency services like police departments and fire departments, no funding for transportation, for roads and bridges, cutting off funding for special education and for our schools, no funding for economic development to help these communities who are challenged because of possibly economic circumstances or shifting manufacturing base or other economic issues beyond their control. so this is extremely broad. according to some definitions, default could mean anything, late payments on any kind of an obligation and it makes absolutely no sense. and let me also indicate that one of the real concerning problems here is that it would exempt emergency spending for natural disaster, i appreciate that the senator from louisiana would want to do that given the fact we had hurricane katrina in
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new orleans, people in the country raised money to help with hurricane katrina. but i would suggest for the 41 cities and counties that filed bankruptcy over the last 20 years or the hundreds from texas to kentucky to alabama and beyond who now have troubled bond ratings and are considered at risk, this is really a slap in the face to every city and community across our country. so i would strongly suggest this is not about stopping a bailout for detroit. we're working hard, people are coming together, this is a community that's coming back because of a tremendous amount of grit and hard work and leadership from the business community, religious community, community leaders and so on. this is about whether or not we're going to support communities that need some help, and just think about this: if you're a city that is doing well and you have a
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wealthy tax base and you're an upper middle income community with high powered lobbyists, you should get federal money, taxpayer money. if your children with disabilities can get special education, we're going to help build roads and up bridges in your community, but if you're having some financial difficulty, then, unfortunately, we would say that we would not allow the same ordinary federal funding that every community gets to be available for you. this is not the right values, mr. president, for america. this is why the international city-county management association strongly opposes this, the national association of counties, the national league of cities, the u.s. conference of mayors, the government finance officers association strongly oppose this effort, and i would make one final statement before turning to our distinguished senior senator from michigan. when we are looking at what's
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happening right now in detroit and around the country, we're seeing workers and retirees on the front line to lose pensions and to lose their wages, you know, in the auto rescue we saw delphi retirees' pensions weren't protected. when we talk about the middle class of this country, people working hard every day, we need to put them first, make sure nobody loses their pension and make sure we stands as a country with cities that are in distress that are working hard to become vibrant and strong again. i would yield the floor mr. president. the presiding officer: the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: i, too, object to the unanimous consent request. i also object to the unanimous consent request, while the sponsor says that it is aimed at bailouts, no one is seeking a bailout that i know of from the communities that would be impacted. despite the stated intention,
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the effect of this bill is to endanger the financial health of hundreds of cities and counties in every corner of this country. it would weaken the safety and the security of countless americans who call those communities home. i don't know of anyone seeking a bailout yet bailouts is the word that used frequently here by the sponsor of this legislation. the definition, what is the definition, communities at risk of defaulting. hundreds and hundreds of communities are, quote, at risk of defaulting. it's unclear what that means. but the strains on local governments in the last few years, particularly following the financial crisis that we have, are real and to say that any community, city, state for that matter that is in risk of defaulting then is to be challenged in terms of getting regular support from the federal government. this is not limited to loans.
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this bill affects grants as well as loans. in the words of the bill, grants and aid would be prevented. all sorts of federal funding, in other words, beside those kind of actions of the federal government involved -- involving credit or reliance on credit of the donor for repayment. the congressional research service says that this, again, applies not just to loans but to grants as well. why in heaven's name, struggling communities, whether it's my hometown of detroit or any other community in this country would be denied the ability to seek grants, not loans because it's not limited to loans, but grants -- is beyond me. this bill goes way beyond the bailouts that no one is seeking and would have a severe impact on cities and towns across the
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country. standard & poor's lists more than 250 securities offered by louisiana municipalities that are below investment grade. that's just one state. that's 250 communities in one state whose securities are below investment grade. presumably meaning there's a significant credit risk in those communities. are those communities then under this bill not going to be eligible to seek regular grants? i'm afraid so and that's not just me saying that. that, again, is the c.r.s. finally, senator stabenow has made reference to a letter that we've received from the national league of cities, national association of counties, united states conference of mayors, and others, opposing this legislation because it goes way beyond its stated purpose of preventing bailouts. again, my town -- i don't know
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of any town but my town hasn't asked for a bailout. i'm proud to have been living in detroit all my life. it doesn't need this kind of ladies and gentlemen poking -- legislation at it poking at it to stop detroit from getting something it hasn't applied for. i know this legislation was introduced before this bankruptcy of the city of detroit but in this context, in this moment to be seeking unanimous consent to pass legislation, apparently without even a hearing, it seems to me beyond the pale. so i oppose this proposal as a lifelong resident of detroit but yeah beyond -- way beyond i oppose it because thousands of municipalities who who have suffered in the aftermath of the recent recession would be negatively affected. our residents, their residents, their employees and our employees deserve better.
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i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: thank you, mr. president. i appreciate the two senators from michigan being the only ones on the floor right now objecting saying this has nothing to do with detroit. but, of course, it does, mr. president. i'm very sorry to hear this objection. there is no objection on the republican side. of course, there would be if, in fact, this legislation would bar normal federal grants, normal federal loans unrelated to a bailout of a state or a municipality in bankruptcy mode. but it doesn't do that. the legislation is very specific, it's very targeted. it's about a bailout of a state or a locality in bankruptcy mode. that's what it's about. it's not about normal, routine federal funding. that's why there is no republican objection. now, one of the distinguished senators from michigan makes the
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point that detroit has not formally asked for a bailout. that's true so far, but when the mayor talked to the "wall street journal" about this, he -- quote -- "left the door open for a federal bailout after the city's bankruptcy filing. when asked directly whether detroit would seek a federal bailout, mayor bean said 'not yet.'" similarly, the governor of michigan, rick der snyder didn't support a bailout but said on face the nation, "if the government wants to do that, that's their option." that's not exactly not option the door and considering that opportunity. again, mr. president, i didn't file this bill in the last two weeks. i originally filed this bill in february of 2011. and it's because detroit isn't, unfortunately, the only municipal or state bankruptcy on the map.
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states can't formally file bankruptcy but they can essentially go bankrupt in laymen's terms. and detroit isn't the only issue on the map. many states face a horrible fiscal situation as well, like california and illinois. and there is very much the real danger of these states and localities seeking a federal bailout. this bill is about that. it's not about normal federal funding. it's not about the safe and secure rural schools program. it's not about any of that routine stuff. it's about a bailout of a state. it's about a bailout of a municipality or other local jurisdiction. and, of course, detroit, unfortunately, is the most obvious example after its historic bankruptcy filing very recently. so again, mr. president, i'm sorry to hear objection. i'm sorry the two senators from
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michigan are hear on the floor about this. i don't think that's a coincidence because this is a bill about bailouts and i do think we should pass it, be very crystal clear at the federal level that we're not going to take on that bailout role and responsibility. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. levin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. approximate levinmr. levin: mr.i would ask unanimous consent again to insert in the record senator vitter's bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: and that says on line 7, page 1, that "that notwithstanding any other provision of law," and then talking about federal funds not being able to purchase or guarantee obligations, it then says, "or no federal funds may be used or to provide direct or indirect grants and aid to any state government, municipal
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government, local government or county government which, after january 26, 2011, has a defaultd on its obligations." so what it says, it's very clear, it's line 7, page 1, and lines 1 and 2, page 2, "direct or indirect grants and aid may not be provided to any city which has defaulted on its obligations." so this is -- this is the language of the bill. now, it also says that, on line 12 of page 2, that "the united states funds may not be used to assist any such government entity." "assist any such government entity." hundreds of governments would be covered by this legislation. and, yeah, it is no coincidence that the senators from michigan are here on the floor, because we are the most current victim
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of this language if it were ever passed. there are other -- hundreds of others who would be victimized by this language because of its breadth and that's what the senator from oregon was very dramatically pointing out. and i ask unanimous consent that the language that i referred to, this bill language, be inserted in the record at this time. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i support the nomination of raymond t. chen to be united states circuit judge for the federal circuit. this is the 29th judicial confirmation this year. with today's confirmation, the senate will have confirmed 200 lower court nominees. we've defeated two. that would be a 200 approval versus 2 disapproval, a 99% ra
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rate. i think we've had a pretty outstanding record this congress. and also doing it at a fast pace. during the last congress, we confirmed more judges than any congress since the 103rd congress and that goes way back 20 years. so far this year, the first of president obama's second term, we've already confirmed more judges than remember confirmed in the entire first year of president bush's second term. at a similar stage in president bush's second term, only 10 judicial nominees had been confirmed. so we're now at a 29-10 comparison, with president oba obama's clearly -- being clearly ahead of where president bush was at a similar time frame. as i have said, we've already confirmed more nominees -- 29 this year -- than we did during the entire -- the entirety of 2005, the first year of
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president bush's second term, when 21 lower court were confirmed. with regard to the hearings, the record shows that president obama is being well received here in the senate, much better than president bush during his second term. last week, we held the 11th judicial nominations hearing this year. in those hearings, we will have considered a total of 33 judicial nominees. compare this favorable treatment of president obama during the beginning of the second term versus the first year of president bush's second term. at this stage in president bush's second term, the committee had not held 11 hearings with 33 judicial nominees but only three hearings for five nominees and all of those were holdovers from the previous congress. in fact, for the entire year of
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2005, senate democrats only allowed seven hearings for a grand total of 18 judicial nominees. it is hard to believe but no nomination hearings on judicial nominees were held during april, may, june or july. four months with no judicial hearings, yet we recently raced through hearings on nominees to the d.c. circuit court of appeals plus a number of district nominations. in fact, in the last few weeks, we have held hearings for 14 judicial nominees. that's not very far behind the entire output of the year 200 2005 -- seven hearings and 18 nominees. again, we have already exceeded that number -- 11 hearings and 33 nominees. the bottom line is that the senate is processing the president's nominees exceptionally fairly and that's the best way to get the job done.
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president obama certainly is treated more fairly in the first year of his second term than senate democrats treated president bush in 2005. it is not clear to me how allowing more votes and more hearings than president bush got in an entire year amounts to -- quote --